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Kitchen renovation has greatest potential to boost a property’s sale price

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Kitchen renovation has greatest potential to boost a property’s sale price

TORONTO, JUNE 28, 2018 – According to a cross-Canada survey of over 750 Royal LePage real estate experts, a kitchen renovation is the clear upgrade of choice with the potential to boost a property’s value by more than 12.5 per cent.[1] Both ranking second, a finished basement or a new bathroom has the potential to increase a property’s value between 2.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent, depending on the investment.

“To financially benefit from a home improvement project, you need to keep potential homebuyers in mind,” said Tom Storey, real estate agent, Royal LePage Signature Realty. “While updating a kitchen should increase your sale price, a pool can actually deter families with young children or those who are looking for less maintenance.”

Adding a pool or deck is considered the least worthwhile renovation to increase a property’s value with pricing potential limited to a maximum of 2.5 per cent of the value of the home.

For Canadians looking for more general guidance on where to focus their home projects, the vast majority of surveyed experts recommended interior renovations (95.0%) over exterior renovations (5.0%).

“Curb appeal is important but more time is spent indoors at the open house and that is where buyers typically fall in love with a home,” added Storey. “When renovating with the potential to sell, the most important thing to remember is to use colours and materials that are popular and not too personal.”

The survey showed that prospective sellers are willing to invest less than 2.5 per cent of a property’s value on home renovations prior to listing their home, which represents an investment of up to $15,138 on a property valued at $605,512[2] – the current median home price in Canada.

When asked which generation is the most likely to renovate their home, 45.1 per cent of surveyed experts said baby boomers, as many are planning to sell and downsize. They are also most likely to have the funds needed for a significant renovation.

“Baby boomers run the risk of their property selling for a lower price or languishing on the market for longer than expected if they held their property for a long period of time without updating periodically,” said Storey. “Although many buyers can see themselves making home improvements themselves, its very hard for a buyer to get excited or imagine living in a space that is run down or the decor reflects another generation.”

Popular Home Improvements

About the home renovations ROI survey.

The Royal LePage Home Improvement Survey polled 766 real estate advisors from across Canada, between June 20, 2018 and June 25, 2018. Each respondent was asked to complete an online survey composed of 8 questions on the value of popular home improvements.

[1] Statistic referenced in table Popular Home Improvements

[2] National Home Price Aggregate, Royal LePage House Price Composite, Q1 2018.

This article is curtesy of www.royallepage.ca.

I offer complimentary home evaluations. Please do not feel obliged to list and sell with me when you request your current home evaluation. I am always happy to help, and when you are ready, I will be available to provide you with my full real estate experience.

Request your home evaluation:

PLEASE CALL/TEXT AT 416-419-5226 OR EMAIL LUBA@LUBABELEY.COM

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Adjusting Expectations - 2017 GTA Housing Market in Review

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Adjusting Expectations - 2017 GTA Housing Market in Review

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) announced that Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 92,394 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in 2017.  This total was down 18.3% compared to the record sales reported in 2016.

But let’s put the 2017 sales into an historical perspective.  Even if we include the record sales of 101,213 in 2015 and 113,040 in 2016 in the equation, the GTA recorded 95,916 sales per year on average over the five year period from 2012 to 2016.  Taking that into consideration, 2017’s results are only off by 3.7% from the 5-year average.  In addition, there has been only one other year (besides 2015 and 2016) when sales breached the 93,000 mark, and that was in 2007, before the “Great Recession”, when the GTA recorded 93,193 sales.

After record sales in all segments of the market in Q1, the pace of sales decline in Q2 and Q3 after the Ontario Fair Housing Plan (i.e. the foreign buyers tax) was introduced. Q4 brought back some strength to the market as some buyers arguably brought forward their home purchase to beat the introduction in January of 2018 of the changes to the federal mortgage lending guidelines (the “stress test”).

Despite the drop of 20,646 annual sales from the 2016 figure, the average sales price recorded in the GTA for 2017 as a whole rose by 12.7% to $822,681, from $729,837 in 2016, although home price growth in the second half of 2017 differed substantially depending on market segment.  The drop was felt primarily in the most expensive detached market segment, where sales dropped by 12,381 homes or 23.0%, but representing almost 60% of the total unit sales decrease of 20,646 units.  The average price of a single detached home in the GTA increased in 2017 by 12.7% to $1,098,951, forcing many buyers to look for less expensive options.  At the other end of the market spectrum, condominium apartments experienced a drop of 2,853 unit sales, or 9.6%, accounting for approximately 13.8% of the total decrease of 20,646 units, but prices in this segment were up 23.1% from 2016 levels to an average of $512,478 in 2017.

These factors also contributed to the shift in relative share of total sales where the percentage of single detached homes decreased by 2.8% to 44.7% of units sold and the share of condominium apartments rose by 2.8% to 29.1% of total units sold.  Expectations are that as more millennials begin to reach the age of home ownership, the trade-off between housing type and location will likely become more prevalent in the future across the GTA and this will also place a significant strain on inventory, turning the process of finding a home into an exercise in adjusting expectations.

According to Royal LePage’s most recent Market Survey Forecast, the company predicts that the aggregate price of a home in the GTA will appreciate by 6.8% by the end of 2018, as many purchasers become acclimatized to the new mortgage rules and continue to compete over low inventory levels, particularly in the condominium market where demand significantly exceeds supply due to the long lead times in building these units. 

If you are curious to know how much your property is worth today or how much you can afford to buy, please feel free to reach out; and if you found this article helpful please hit "Like" and "Share".

 

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Are buyers rushing to avoid the stress?

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Are buyers rushing to avoid the stress?

It appears that home buying activity in the GTA is ramping up for a strong December if the November results are any indication.  The Toronto Real Estate Board reported 7,374 transactions through TREB’s MLS system in November, bucking the regular seasonal trend which usually sees transactions slow in the last couple of months of the year.

It’s possible that the changes to mortgage lending guidelines, which come into effect in January (the “stress test”), have prompted some households to speed up their home buying decisions before their home choices become more limited as affordability will drop when the new rules are applied.

TREB reported that there were 18,197 active listings across the Greater Toronto Area (“GTA”) in the month of November, an increase of over 110%  compared to the same month in 2016 and inventory remained stable at roughly 2 ½ month’s supply.

What is more interesting, however, is what happened on a micro level.  In the City of Toronto, for instance, there were 2,978 reported transactions, representing 40% of the GTA total, but with only 5,430 active listings, available inventory was much lower than the GTA average, at 1.8 months.  Another interesting statistic is that detached homes represented almost 60% of the active listings in November, meaning that there is a much greater supply at the higher end of the price range, where inventory stood at almost 3 ½ month’s supply, or an additional 1 month above the GTA average.

Demand continued to be strongest at the lower end where inventories of the more affordable home types were 1.8 months for semi-detached homes, and 1.6 months for condominiums.

The average selling price in the month of November for all homes types combined was $761,757 - down by 2 per cent compared to the month of November, 2016, due in part to a smaller share of detached home sales versus last year.  On a year to date basis, however, the average selling price was up by 13.4 per cent compared to the same period last year, with high density home types (i.e. condo townhouses and apartments) leading the way in terms of price growth.

My predictions?  Look for a more active than usual December month as buyers continue to speed up their home buying decisions to “avoid the stress” that will be caused by the new mortgage lending qualification rules and the likelihood of further interest rate hikes in 2018.  The first 90 days of 2018 will probably lead to a slowdown in transactions as buyers navigate the new regulatory landscape and inventories will likely edge up to slightly more than 3 month’s supply on average for the next few months.

Wishing you happiness, good health and prosperity in the New Year!

If you are curious to know how much your property is worth today or how much you can afford to buy, please feel free to reach out; and if you found this article helpful please hit "Like" and "Share".

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Signals of a Healthy GTA Real Estate Market Continue

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Signals of a Healthy GTA Real Estate Market Continue

There were a total of 7,118 residential sales reported through TREB’s MLS system in October, compared to 9,715 transactions a year ago.  Even though the number of transactions was down by 26.7% year-over-year, the jump of almost 12% in residential sales reported between the months of September and October in 2017 was more pronounced than usual compared to the last 10 years, a clear signal that market momentum is picking up.

Active listings were 78.5% higher than a year ago, an indication that supply and demand are continuing to balance out as inventories settled at 2.6 months of supply in October, down marginally from the 3.0 months of supply in September, but still much healthier than the scant 1.1 months of supply experienced in October, 2016.  There is, however, a continuing lack of quality listings in core GTA neighbourhoods and there are early indications that offer dates are reappearing as homes are being underpriced to generate bidding wars, although this has yet to manifest in the overall selling price to list price ratio which is currently holding at 98%.

While the average selling price for October transactions was $780,104 – up by 2.3% compared to the average of $762,691 in October 2016 -  the continuing low supply of, and high demand for, condominiums fuelled a 21.8% increase in prices in that segment of the market.

Expectations are that market activity will pick up further in the next 6-8 weeks as buyers rush to obtain mortgage pre-approvals and submit offers before the new stress tests announced by OSFI last month are implemented at the beginning of 2018, further reducing buying power as the pre-qualification hurdle rate increases to the higher of the 5-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or your negotiated contract borrowing rate + 2%.

Do you remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears?  When Goldilocks arrived at the bears’ house in the forest there were three bowls of porridge on the table and she was hungry. The first bowl of porridge she tried was “too hot”, the next one was “too cold”, but the third one was “just right”.  Well, this just might be a “Goldilocks” moment in the GTA housing market!

If you are curious to know how much your property is worth today or how much you can afford to buy, please feel free to reach out; and if you found this article helpful please hit "Like" and "Share".

 

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Renting or Buying? New Regulations Are Making Affordability More Difficult

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Renting or Buying? New Regulations Are Making Affordability More Difficult

Beginning January 1, 2018, if you are buying a home, even if you have equity of 20% or more, a new regulation announced this week by OSFI (the Ontario Superintendent of Financial Institutions) could make it more difficult for you to qualify for a mortgage.

The revised Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures include several key changes that the regulator says is part of its expectation that federally-regulated mortgage lenders remain vigilant in their underwriting practices, the most significant of which is a new “stress test”.

One fear hitting the headlines today is that the impacted borrowers will turn to unregulated lenders including credit unions and caisses populaires, which are not subject to the new rules.

 If you stay with the same institution, banking competition will be even further restricted as those renewing mortgages will not have the ability to shop around. Great for the banks!

In order to qualify for an uninsured mortgage the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages will be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%.  So if the Bank of Canada five-year rate is 5% and you are able to negotiate a lower rate from your financial institution – say 3.5%, then the stress test will mean that you would otherwise have to qualify for a 5.5% rate mortgage in order to be approved.  Alternatively, if you were only able to negotiate a 50 basis point reduction from the posted rate, or 4.5%, then you would have to show that you would qualify for a 6.5% rate mortgage of the same amount.  What this will likely mean for most borrowers, is that they will not be able to afford the home that they thought they could before the change in regulations.

For example, as reported by TREB (The Toronto Real Estate Board) the average price of a semi-detached home in the GTA in September, 2017 was $752,379.  A buyer with a 20% down payment would need a mortgage of approximately $600,000 in order to purchase this “average” home.  Let’s say that the Bank of Canada five-year benchmark rate is 5.0% and that this purchaser was able to negotiate a rate of 4% with their financial institution.  Therefore, the purchaser would have to demonstrate that they could afford the payments on a 6% mortgage of this amount (roughly an additional $350.00 per month or $4,200.00 per year on a monthly pay mortgage amortized over 25 years), otherwise they would only qualify for a smaller mortgage.  If they could not come up with that extra income to show that they would qualify for a $600,000 mortgage under the new regulation, then they would have to settle for a mortgage of $545,000, meaning that with their $150,000 down payment they could only afford a home priced around $695,000, or roughly 8% less than the price of the average semi-detached home selling currently in the GTA.

So for many, the alternative will be to look for a smaller home to purchase, perhaps a less expensive condominium, rent or move out of the city.  And sadly, the news does not get much better with those alternatives, due to the shortages of available units in both the sales and rental markets for condominiums.  And affordability is becoming a real issue as the focus of buyers and renters alike has shifted to condominiums, bidding up prices both for units for sale and units for rent.

Urbanation just released its analysis of this year’s third quarter and found condo rents averaged $2,219 a month for units averaging 743 square feet – a $232 year-over-year increase. It also found that newly signed leases in the third quarter, at 7,761, hadn’t much changed in a year.

A new report commissioned by the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario says the Liberal government’s Fair Housing Plan has negatively impacted the province’s rental housing supply. Before the introduction of the government legislation, 28,000 rental units were in the planning pipeline, but since the new rules were introduced 1,000 of those units have been cancelled or converted to condominiums. The report estimates that if 6,250 new rental units are not built per year in Ontario supply will continue to drop and naturally drive the demand up and the prices.

A lot of factors have conspired to put relentless pressure on the rental market – the astronomical cost of homeownership, stricter mortgage qualifications, high migration and the Fair Housing Plan, among others – but none has been more pronounced than the supply shortage.  Moreover, the reintroduction of rent control has provided tenants increased incentive to remain in their dwellings, stunting the turnover rate.

Tim Hudak, CEO of OREA (The Ontario Real Estate Association) recently had this to say about the latest regulation. “It’s time for governments to hit the brakes on more demand side policy interventions and take a wait and see approach. Ontario’s housing market is too important to the provincial economy to move ahead with unnecessary regulation that will hurt the dream of home ownership.”

If you are curious to know how much your property is worth today or how much you can afford to buy, please feel free to reach out; and if you found this article helpful please hit "Like" and "Share".

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Expanding Regional Economies to Lift Home Prices in Canada’s Major Markets

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Expanding Regional Economies to Lift Home Prices in Canada’s Major Markets

Shorter than anticipated housing market correction puts Toronto back on track 

Highlights:

  • Toronto to have a shorter housing correction than seen in Vancouver
  • Tighter access to mortgage financing and eroding affordability in Vancouver and Toronto have more buyers shifting their focus to condominiums, putting upward pressure on price appreciation
  • Rising interest rates and a strong Canadian dollar support more moderate home price appreciation

TORONTO, October 12, 2017 – According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey [1], home prices in Canada’s five most populated housing markets are rising at a similar, healthy pace on a quarter-over-quarter basis, the first time this has occurred in six years.

The year-over-year price change data in the Royal LePage House Price Composite is the most useful metric for determining the health of Canada’s real estate market. However, examining quarter-over-quarter movements can reveal useful short-term housing market trends. In the third quarter, home prices in the Greater Toronto Area, Greater Vancouver, Greater Montreal Area, Calgary and Ottawa all rose at rates between 1.5 and 3.5 per cent on a quarter-over-quarter basis, indicative of a much more balanced Canadian residential real estate market.

The Royal LePage National House Price Composite, compiled from proprietary property data in 53 of the nation’s largest real estate markets, showed that the price of a home in Canada increased 13.3 per cent year-over-year to $628,411 in the third quarter. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home rose 13.9 per cent year-over-year to $748,049, and the median price of a bungalow grew 9.5 per cent to $525,781. During the same period, the median price of a condominium rose 15.2 per cent to $413,670.

“Uneven regional economic growth has plagued Canada for much of the past decade, a challenge most evident in the nation’s housing markets,” said Phil Soper, President and CEO, Royal LePage. “For the first time since 2011, we are seeing real estate in all five of our largest cities appreciate at a manageable, healthy clip. Canadian housing is enjoying a Goldilocks moment – not too hot, and not too cold.”

“For now, the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets have returned to earth,” continued Soper. “After a period of unsustainable price inflation and sharp market corrections, we are seeing low single digit appreciation in each. Calgary has shaken off the oil-bust blues and Montreal appears to be at the beginning of a new era of economic prosperity. Rounding out the ‘big five,’ the Ottawa market is behaving like it usually does – a picture of healthy market growth.”

“Marginally higher borrowing costs should dampen domestic demand somewhat, and with less currency-adjusted purchasing power, foreign buyer activity is off peak levels and will likely stay that way in the near-term,” added Soper.

During the third quarter, the Greater Toronto Area saw the largest year-over-year home price increase of any major Canadian market, surging 21.7 per cent on the back of strong gains witnessed at the beginning of 2017. Meanwhile, home prices in Montreal continued to climb at a rate beyond what has been the historical norm, appreciating by 14.3 per cent when compared to the same time last year, while Ottawa grew by 7.9 per cent over the same period. When looking at the largest markets in Canada’s westernmost provinces, Calgary and Greater Vancouver inched further out of their recovery, with home prices rising 5.0 and 2.5 per cent year-over-year, respectively.

Following a very similar trend to the Vancouver housing correction of 2016, the Greater Toronto Area market experienced a sharp drop in sales volumes beginning in April 2017, which continued through much of the third quarter. With underlying employment and economic growth on solid footing, the Toronto market began to grow again in August.

Potential buyers who were previously on the sidelines taking a wait-and-see approach have now jumped back into the market after realizing prices did not drop as certain market watchers had anticipated. On the supply side, some sellers who had attempted to capitalize on an uncharacteristically strong spring have taken their homes off the market. Together, these trends have caused the region to revert to a more balanced market where supply and demand have stabilized in the majority of areas.

Nationally, condominium prices increased 15.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis and have begun to appreciate faster than any other housing segment in large urban centres such as Toronto and Vancouver. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and begin a trend in other cities. The overall affordability of condominiums continues to attract first-time homebuyers and purchasers looking for attractively-priced real estate as new mortgage regulations, interest rate increases and higher home prices have effectively limited purchasing power.

Under the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, all private rental units in the province are now subject to rent control, and housing market watchers have a number of concerns regarding the impact of this legislation. Removing the ability to adjust prices by more than 2.5 per cent a year when long-term residential real estate price appreciation is approximately 5.0 per cent per year makes rental units less attractive to investors. It is likely fewer purpose-built rental projects will be launched in the near future. According to one industry report, more than 1,000 such projects have already been cancelled and vacancies have already fallen to 1.3 per cent across the GTA[2].

“Ontarians deciding between renting and buying a home are facing two tough options,” said Soper. “Purchasers trying to break into the entry-level market now face a highly competitive environment, while those waiting to buy are met with high rental prices brought on by a significant shortage of inventory.”

“There may be unintended consequences to new province-wide rent controls,” concluded Soper. “We need more family-sized units in the province’s cities; apartments with two or three bedrooms. Yet purpose-built rental projects are likely to focus on smaller bachelor or one-bedroom units, which tend to attract shorter-term tenants. The higher turn-over allows landlords to raise rates more frequently. This will put further upward pressure on the price of existing family-sized rental units.”

Full article link here.

Provincial and City Summaries and Trends

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For more information visit: www.royallepage.ca

[1] Aggregate prices are calculated using a weighted average of the median values of all housing types collected. Data is provided by RPS Real Property Solutions.

[2] Urbanation Inc. report prepared for the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, “Ontario Rental Market Study: Measuring the Supply Gap,” September 2017

If you are curious to know how much your property is worth today, please feel free to reach out, and if you found this article helpful please hit "Like" and "Share".


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Gold Leaf Prints of the Human Brain by Greg Dunn

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Gold Leaf Prints of the Human Brain by Greg Dunn

TRULY REMARKABLE ART FORM - DIVING DEEP INTO YOUR BRAIN

“Self Reflected” by American artist/neuroscientist Greg Dunn and Dr Brian Edwards is a stunning series of gold leaf prints of the human brain. Bringing new perspective to the mind, the work bridges the connection between the macroscopic brain and the behavior of neurons through a revolutionary technique called reflective microetching. Gilded with 1,750 sheets of gold leaf, slices of the brain are magnified and the natural flow of neural activity revealed in the play of light across the rich and elaborate surface. Made with a combination of hand drawing, neuroscience data, algorithmic simulation of neural circuitry and photolithography, the project represent a seamless and unique marriage of art and science.

Greg elaborates on the method and motive behind this project:

“Self Reflected animates brain activity with light reflecting off of a golden surface and offers an unprecedented insight of the brain into itself. It reveals an enormous scope of neural choreography occurring in our own minds at the very moment of observation. It was created to remind us that the most marvelous machine in the known universe is at the core of our being. It is the root of our shared humanity.”

 

For more info please visit: www.gregadunn.comwww.brian-edwards.com


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More Inventory Starting to Attract More Buyers

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More Inventory Starting to Attract More Buyers

IT LOOKS LIKE THE WORST IS OVER FOR THE TORONTO HOUSING CORRECTION

Last month I spoke about how the Greater Toronto Area Real Estate Market is beginning to change shape and return to balance. Well, the evidence is in, as the number of new listings entered into The Toronto Real Estate Board’s MLS® System amounted to 16,469 in September – up by 9.4 per cent year-over-year.  But the real story is that total active listings stood at 19,021, a whopping 69% increase year-over-year.  TREB suggests that the improvement in listings in September compared to a year earlier is a sign that home owners are anticipating an uptick in sales activity as we move through the fall, or put another way, more inventory is starting to attract more buyers back to the market.

TREB announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,379 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in September, roughly the same amount as in August, but 35 per cent lower than September of last year.  In a balanced market, buyers take longer to make up their minds, as there is more product available to choose from.  Likewise, sellers need time to get adjusted to the new market reality.  Remember, the last few years were anything but “ordinary”.

Think of it this way.  Last year at this time, inventory (the number of active listings on MLS®) stood at approximately one month of sales.  So, on average, every home on the market was selling within a month or less, with multiple offers driving up the price paid due to the scarcity of supply.  Now that inventory is closer to 3 months supply, what this means is that 1 out of every 3 houses on average is selling within the month, and price is no longer being dictated by the frenzy we saw when homes were in such short supply.  So it makes sense to see that sales are about a third lower in September 2017 than they were in September of last year.  All of this is happening against a backdrop where average prices are still increasing, albeit at a lower rate than we saw during the run up.  The average selling price of a home in the GTA in September 2017 was $775,546 – up 2.6 per cent compared to September 2016.

However, the exception continues to be the condominium apartment market segment, where average prices were up on average by 23 per cent compared to last year. TREB reported in September that “tighter market conditions for condominium apartments follows consumer polling results from the spring that pointed toward a shift to condos in terms of buyer intentions”. In fact, condos accounted for almost 30 per cent of all MLS home sales across the GTA during the month of September, whereas detached homes – the most expensive market segment on average - accounted for a smaller share of overall transactions this year compared to last.

If you are curious to know how much your property is worth today, please feel free to reach out and if you found this article helpful please hit "Like" and "Share".


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2017 INVICTUS GAMES, TORONTO

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2017 INVICTUS GAMES, TORONTO

2017 INVICTUS GAMES, TORONTO HIGH PARK

THEY ARE UNCONQUERED!

The word “Invictus” means “unconquered”.  It embodies the fighting spirit of these “warriors” and what they can achieve through their tenacity post-injury. The Games are about much more than just sport. Invictus captures hearts, challenges minds and changes lives. The motto for the games is "I am".

The Invictus Games are Prince Harry’s sporting event for the wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.  Perhaps you’ve seen His Royal Highness on the news this week. On Wednesday he was right in our own backyard - in High Park - to give out medals to the athletes!

Once again, we are so fortunate to live in such a great city! If you have a chance this week get out there and cheer these courageous people on and join the movement, started by Prince Harry in 2014, to help generate a wider understanding and respect for those who have sacrificed so much to serve their country and their people.

Enjoy!

If you liked this post, please hit like and share.

Luba, xo


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A SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER!

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A SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER!

2017 TERRY FOX RUN WAS A HUGE SUCCESS

HIGH PARK, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017


From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for your participation! I know you all lead busy lives but yet you took the time to make a difference and it means the world to me. Our goal this year was to raise $15,000 towards this worthy cause and we surpassed our expectations.

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As a Team, this year we raised $17,423 and the donations are still coming.

The High Park Run raised $109,130

The Terry Fox Run as a whole raised $3,675,624 this year and counting..

To date LUBA BELEY TEAM raised $75,544.

Thanks to your generosity, cancer research in Canada continues to forge discoveries that Terry could only have dreamed about. None of this would be possible without you. 

WE LOVE TERRY!

Terry Fox is truly my Canadian hero who so positively touched lives of so many people. Terry was only 18 when doctors amputated his right leg 15 cm above the knee and not long after losing his leg to cancer, Fox decided to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. He ran from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Thunder Bay, Ontario, covering 5,373 km in 143 days, but was forced to halt his Marathon of Hope when cancer invaded his lungs. He died shortly before his 23rd birthday.

The courage and determination of this young man have inspired millions of people around the world and we are so proud and happy to keep embracing Terry's legacy.
In 1981, Terry said, "Even if I don't finish, we need others to continue. It's got to keep going without me." Every day we are moving closer to his inspiring dream: a world free of cancer.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATION & YOUR PARTICIPATION!

Here are some photos from our 2016 & 2017 High Park Terry Fox Run


TORONTO UKRAINIAN FESTIVAL

BLOOR WEST VILLAGE

SEPTEMBER 15 - 17, 2017

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Did you know that Toronto Ukrainian Festival was celebrating its 21st year in the Bloor West Village this year? Today it is the largest Ukrainian Festival in North America.

The Festival's organizers describe its vision "Is to offer the largest celebration of Ukrainian spirit in the world – showcasing the best of Ukrainian arts and culture and thereby strengthening the multicultural fabric of Canada. The Festival takes pride in turning its spotlight on contemporary professional and amateur artists and performers from North America and Ukraine, and in celebration of Toronto’s diversity, invites a local performing group representing another culture to bring its talents to the main stage each year. Throughout its history, the Festival has hosted prime ministers and other politicians from all levels of government." 

And we are so lucky that it all happens in our backyard.

In the last 21 years, I don't think I ever missed one. In previous years I participated in the Festival at a different capacity. This year I decided to showcase my real estate business by hosting an information booth.

It provided me with an excellent opportunity to reconnect with so many of my fellow Ukrainians, as well as meeting people from the Bloor West Village neighbourhood, neighbourhoods across the GTA and visitors from around the world. 

Visitors to my booth had an opportunity to be photographed in traditional Ukrainian costume,  and enter into a draw for a chance to WIN a $200.00 pre-paid Visa card. I would like to thank each end every one of you who stopped by to say hi and greeted me so ever warmly.

This was great fun, and once again I truly appreciate your continued loyalty and support.

For more information, please visit the 2017 Toronto Ukrainian Festival website here.

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Toronto Real Estate Market Returning to Balance

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Toronto Real Estate Market Returning to Balance

After an overheated performance for much of 2016 and 2017 which saw most homes selling at sky high prices, often well over list, and with multiple offers, the Greater Toronto Area real estate market is returning to balance as the summer closes.

Don’t believe what’s in the newspapers and media reports that Toronto’s real estate market is reaching a point where the bubble is going to burst.  It’s not supported by the facts.

The Toronto Real Estate Board reports in its latest figures, for the month of August, that sales of all homes recorded on MLS across the GTA were 6,357, down 34.8% year on year and that the average price only increased 3.0% to $732,292.

However, averages don’t tell the whole story, and there are pockets of real strength, particularly condominiums, where although sales were down 28.0% (mostly due to lack of supply), prices averaged 21.4% higher across the Greater Toronto Area.

Economic indicators are also pointing to fundamental strength, with real growth in the economy up 4.5% in the second quarter of 2017 and employment growth in the Greater Toronto Area of 1.3% during the month of July.  The impact of the recent (generally expected) Bank of Canada interest rate increases have yet to play out, but it's possible that they will not have a significant lasting impact on buyer sentiment, as the extreme “heat” that was being felt in the market has cooled somewhat as it returns to a more healthy balance of supply and demand.

Also, prior to the introduction of the Ontario Government’s Foreign Buyers tax last April, housing inventories in the Greater Toronto Area were running at some of their lowest levels in history, at or below 1 month’s supply, and this was reflected in the lofty month on month price increases experienced in what was truly a “sellers” market.

With the introduction of the new tax measures in April, active listings have begun to rise while sales have tapered off.  As a result, supply of homes has increased to a more healthy balance of 2.6 month’s supply in August, although down slightly from 3.1 month’s supply in July.

Typically though, during the summer months many sellers as well as purchasers are on the sidelines and activity wanes, while people are on vacation and out enjoying the good weather.  With summer drawing to a close, there is some optimism building, now the Greater Toronto Area real estate market has returned to a more healthy balance, that activity will pick up once again in the Autumn months.

When compared with other major Canadian cities, the Greater Toronto Area still has the lowest monthly inventory of homes, well below Montreal (7.8 months), Edmonton (5.5 months) and Calgary (4.1 months), and slightly lower than Vancouver (2.9 months),  meaning the Greater Toronto Area is still the strongest housing market in Canada.

If you are curious to know how much your property is worth today, please feel free to reach out and if you found this article helpful please hit "Like" and "Share".


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Celebrating Canada 150 with my clients & friends!

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Celebrating Canada 150 with my clients & friends!

BEAUTIFUL, DIVERSE AND WELCOMING CANADA

2017 marks the 150th year since the Canadian Confederation, and the year-long birthday bash is in full swing.  July 1 is almost upon us and we all have our own Canadian story to tell.

HELLO GEORGIAN BAY!

Last weekend I drove up North for an hour and a half to experience a small part of this beautiful country. What an amazing landscape with preserved lands and waters that are so easily accessible. What a great country and its people are equally amazing!


9 INCREDIBLE YEARS IN THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS

This year I am celebrating 9 years in the real estate industry. I cannot believe how fast the time has gone by and it's been the most amazing ride of my life. My network of exceptional people keeps getting bigger and better and I am very grateful for it every day.

Shortly after arriving in Canada from Ukraine in 1994, to start a new life here in Toronto, I began my professional journey as an on-air TV host and reporter for OMNI TV's "Svitohliad". A lot has changed since those TV days. After my on-air experience, I began my sales career with BMW, and later with Porsche, as a Sales and Leasing Executive. I also worked in a Marketing Management capacity prior to launching my real estate business. I've learned so much about our city and our people through these valuable life & sales experiences.

Every person and every home I work with allows me not only a chance to grow and learn but to be very creative with each real estate transaction - setting new record prices for an area, street or condo complex. I work 24/7/365, helping my clients achieve their goals and dreams, and I am loving every moment of it! Take a look at what some of my clients have to say in my Client Testimonials here.

MY PERSONAL THANK YOU

This is my opportunity to give back to my community and to my people. I'm so blessed for having so many exceptional individuals in my network who have helped me along the way and taught me many valuable life lessons. As a result, I approach every person and every situation from the point of love, compassion & kindness. These are not just fancy words that I use to make things sound good, these are my standards that I choose to live by. I look forward to hearing from you and am grateful for your continued loyalty.

LUBABELEY.COM IS MAKING ITS DEBUT

In preparation for Canada’s 150th birthday celebration, as my own token of Love, is my new website LubaBeley.com. It's personal, just like the real estate business is to me. I’m trusting that the site I’ve created will give people the tools and knowledge to position themselves comfortably in the driver’s seat of their real estate transaction. 

You might find your own statement, video, photo or a quote there, so please check it out and provide your valuable feedback. I've made so many amazing deals but not many people know about them. Now all that great information is in one happy place. Please share LubaBeley.com with your trusted network, as you already know I will get the job done right every time. 

Whether you’re moving across town, across Canada, or across the world, I am here, working for you, my friends.

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Respectfully yours,

Luba - a bundle of positive energy, dedicated to making the world a happier place, one home and one client at the time:)


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My recent trip to Lviv, Ukraine - I highly recommend you visit!

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My recent trip to Lviv, Ukraine - I highly recommend you visit!

This past May, I visited my family in Ukraine and attended my nephew's wedding. It's been a long 6 years since I visited my former homeland. There was nothing better than just chatting with my dad about life, enjoying talks with my mom and feasting on her exceptionally yummy Ukrainian food, which of course was made with Love. Fun times were enjoyed with my brother and my nephews. My daughter Olena also arrived from her travels to attend the wedding so it turned out to be a really special family reunion. 

Check out some of the architecture, lifestyle, my mom's gardens and more in some of these photos from my trip.

I just LOVE the city of LVIV and highly recommend that you go and visit this wonderful city if you haven't yet.


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The Whitby Hotel [New York] - WOW!

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The Whitby Hotel [New York] - WOW!

Eccentrically designed with a British influence by founder and designer Kit Kemp, The Whitby is making it’s debut in Manhattan’s Upper Midtown and is the second addition of Firmdale Hotels’ New York portfolio, following the gorgeous Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo.

There are 86 individually designed bedrooms and suites, each with floor to ceiling windows, many with a private terrace and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. There is also The Whitby Bar and Restaurant, an Orangery, book-lined Drawing Room, private outdoor terrace as well as three beautifully designed private event rooms, a 130 seat state-of-the-art cinema and a fully equipped gym.

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Casa Nostra - Stylish Fruit Store In Barcelona

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Casa Nostra - Stylish Fruit Store In Barcelona

Casa Nostra Fruit Store in Barcelona puts focus on unique display. In this case, fruits are in the spotlight. The minimal interior by Miriam Barrio Studio highlights the colors and forms of food, while white tiles expose the beauty of local products.

The store is divided into two zones – one dedicated to fresh products and the other, storing pre-packed food. Visual identity of Casa Nostra is also intriguing. From sleek typography to beautifully designed shopping bags, the brand redefines the grocery shopping experience.

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